Search Results : otis

Aug 142017

This past weekend, Fabio, Jack, and I drove up to Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s house in Otis, Massachusetts (in the Berkshires) for a weekend of fun in the sun! We were joined by my friends Hana and Britt, which made the trip extra amazing.

Here are some scenes from the weekend, with a few notes of commentary here and there. 🙂

We hit the road on Thursday evening after work!

After a long car ride, we arrived in Otis to quite the welcome spread!

We stayed up until around 4 a.m. before throwing in the towel. We were exhausted.


We slept in a bit on Friday and then had breakfast outside. I made this lemon blueberry “bread” (aka – cake) and it was fantastic!

My plate:

Then it was time for some fun!

Water activities are the best. 🙂

We recently bought this life vest for Jack so we don’t have to worry about him when he jumps off the kayak or paddle board in the middle of the lake. It worked perfectly!

Steve took Jack on his kayak, and the rest of us used the stand-up paddle boards. Poor Fabio had to work on Friday so he stayed at the house, and Britt didn’t arrive until Friday evening. (That pesky day job.)

But the rest of us had fun!

After paddle boarding, we hung out in the back yard enjoying the sunshine and playing lots of lawn games.

Jack wanted to join us in playing bocce. 🙂

Steve was on cocktail duty and made us some amazing concoctions!

Later in the afternoon, the sky began to look a little ominous so we moved our games inside. Steve showed us how to play Gobblet, and we were all instantly addicted.

Once Britt arrived, it was dinner time!

We called it a night around 1 a.m. after playing lots more board games. We were pooped!


Saturday morning started off pretty gray and cold, so we huddled inside and went through our wedding pictures together! Then we made a stop at the farmer’s market.

Lunch featured wraps on the deck, and then we headed off for a four-mile hike!

Which of course, meant more swimming for Jack.

The sun was fully out by the time we got back to the house, so we put on our swimsuits and headed over to the lake.

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the house playing lots and lots more games.

The games didn’t stop when the sun went down – night time bocce, kan-jam, and badminton for the win!

We finished up the evening sitting around the fire pit and called it a night around 1:45 a.m. (Dinner was also in there somewhere, but I was too busy having fun to take any pics!)


We stuck around for breakfast on Sunday before packing up to head home.

It was a long drive, but the fun weekend was worth it!

The end.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite game?

 Posted by on August 14, 2017
Jan 172017

Hey there! Happy Tuesday to you. Fabio and I both had off from work yesterday for MLK weekend, so we were lucky enough to have an extra long weekend. Woohoo! We wound up spending a fun couple of days up at my Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s house in Otis, Massachusetts, and it was a blast! (Like usual.)

Here’s my recap!


Fabio and I drove up to CC and Steve’s place on Friday night, and we wound up making really good time. Otis is in the southernmost part of Massachusetts (in the Berkshire mountains), and the drive usually takes us around 6.5 hours. We made a pit stop in NYC to pick up our friend Jason who came with us for the weekend, and then we were on our way!

We arrived in Otis at around 1:40 a.m. and were instantly greeted with a spread of cheese, crackers, and homemade pumpkin hummus, along with a much-needed adult beverage (wine for me, a whiskey drink for Fabio and Jason).

The late-night snack welcome session has become the norm for our visits, and we usually wind up drinking a few cocktails while we catch up. We didn’t go to bed until around 4:30 in the morning! Yikes!


After about four hours of sleep (oy) we were up and at ’em and ready to enjoy our first full day in Otis! We started off with breakfast, which was a delicious egg and spinach bake with bacon on the side. Yes!

After breakfast, we suited ourselves up and headed out for a day of skiing!

Uncle Steve is a really great skiier (CC is good too), but Fabio, Jason, and I were all pretty new at the sport. I’ve gone snowboarding a couple of times and skiing one other time, but it was basically like starting from scratch for me since it had been so long. Steve did a great job of teaching us the technique!

Fabio and Jason both got the hang of skiing in no time, but it took me a lot longer to feel comfortable. Poor Steve went down the bunny hill with me a bunch of times before I felt ready to tackle the next level, and I really appreciated his patience. Thanks, Steve!

(Here we are on the bunny hill…poor Steve.)

By the end of the day, I had gone down the green-level hill a few times comfortably (though still with a few falls) and went down the blue-level hill once (though not really on purpose – lol – and with a lot of help from Steve). I decided that when it comes to skiing, I like to go really slow so I can be in control. The really steep areas aren’t fun for me right now, but my hope is that I’ll enjoy those areas more as I get better.

After skiing we popped into the little ski lodge restaurant for some lunch (I had a grilled chicken sandwich) and a much-needed beer. Skiing stressed me out!

After lunch we headed back to the house, showered up, and rested a bit. Ah, so cozy!

Before long it was time for dinner!

CC made use a delicious lasagna, and I put together a side salad with carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and blueberries. CC also made us a homemade viniagrette!

Time to eat!

By the way, CC and Steve have these awesome red light bulbs in their house that make everything look extra cozy at night, but they cast a weird color in the photos. Sorry for all the redness!

Over dinner, we had some really fun debates/conversations about politics, the electoral college, and more. It’s always fun sitting down to chat with this group, and I always feel like I come away from the conversations with a new way of looking at things.

After dinner, we all moved to the couch to watch the Patriot’s game since CC is a big Pats fan. We enjoyed slices of her homemade peanut butter pie while we watched! It was SO delicious.

What a cozy way to wind down the night! The boys wound up falling asleep on the couch within minutes – I guess all that skiing really wore them out – and the rest of us wound up heading to bed around 11. Finally, some sleep!


Sunday morning began with breakfast again – this time we had egg scrambles with chicken sausage and veggies, plus a couple bites of various delicious muffins – before setting out for a hike!

Can you see Jack off in the distance in the picture above? He had an absolute BLAST on this hike!

Parts of the trail (which starts in CC and Steve’s backyard, BTW, which is so awesome) were pretty icy, but other parts were ok.

We walked about two miles down to Upper Spectacle Pond, which was frozen over!

It looks a little different from last time we visited, right?

Steve and Jack even walked out onto the ice (after testing how frozen it was to be safe) but the rest of us stayed safely on the shore.

Fabio and I even grabbed our furry little buddy for a family picture!

You can barely see him in this picture but his tongue is out! Haha!

I also had to take a picture of Fabio and CC in their respective Yankee/Red Sox hats. See, world peace is possible! 😉

By the time we walked back to the house, we had covered about four miles. Not too shabby!

After our hike, we enjoyed a delicious lunch (grilled chicken, broccolini and roasted sweet potato wedges) before packing everything up to hit the road. Steve, CC, and Jason all had work on Monday and we had such a long ride ahead of us that we didn’t mind leaving a little early. We said our goodbyes to everyone and hit the road at about 4:45, and we finally made it home by 11:45 due to some traffic in DC. Ugh.

Once we got home, it was lights out.


Fabio and I both slept in nice and late on Monday – we were tired!

The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping and prepping for the week ahead.

We even made some fresh juice, which is something we hadn’t done in ages. Yum!

All in all, I’d say it was a perfect weekend! Thanks so much for having us, CC and Steve!

Question of the day: Do you like skiing? Are you good at it?

 Posted by on January 17, 2017
Nov 232015

Hey friends! Did everyone have a good weekend? I spent mine up in Otis – a town in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts – at my aunt CC and uncle Steve’s mountain house. It’s so beautiful there, and we always have so much fun when we go.


It’s actually Sunday night as I type this up, and after spending most of the day in the car driving home I’m feeling pretty exhausted. I’m going to keep this recap fairly short and let the pictures do most of the talking. Here are some scenes from my weekend!

In the mornings, my mom, stepdad, uncle David, Steve, CC, Fabio, and I would all sit around this table drinking coffee and catching up. CC also made a fantastic pound cake and pumpkin muffins for us to snack on.


Then my uncle David and stepdad would cook (a second) breakfast for the group. They are some seriously awesome chefs. Look at these perfectly poached eggs!


On Saturday morning, I headed out for a hike with CC and my mom.


It was a beautiful day, and we were all happy to get moving.


Although my mom loves being outside, she’s not exactly what you’d call outdoorsy. She wears dresses and heels every day, and her idea of a hiking outfit included a blazer, dress pants, and open-toe wedges. Plus her fancy red coat with mink trim. Yes, seriously. I can’t even explain to you how ridiculous it was to see her hiking in wedges. She did it though, and didn’t complain a bit! What a trooper.


Our hike was about three miles and took us up to the beautiful Upper Spectacle pond.



CC said this area was absolutely gorgeous a few weeks ago when the leaves were changing colors. I can only imagine.


The best part of our hike was definitely the girl talk. The three of us don’t get to see each other as often as we would like, and I know we all cherished this time together.



When we got back to the house, we sat around the table for a while chatting, snacking, and just being together as a family.


CC put up her Christmas decorations early this year so we’d get to enjoy them during our stay. How beautiful is her tree?



The rest of the house is also super cozy, especially the giant leather couch with the knitted throws. That couch is so dangerous – I can never sit on it or I won’t get back up!


As for snacks, we had homemade pumpkin hummus, veggies, and CC’s horseradish cranberry sauce, which was absolutely amazing. I definitely ate way too much of this.


There was also a fizzy cider drink made with ginger beer, which I loved.


We also played with the cats, Addison and Clarence. Hi, Addy!


Later in the evening, we all got ready for dinner. CC made butternut squash lasagna with homemade lasagna noodles. It tasted as good as it sounds. Actually, better.


While she cooked, I munched on plenty of cheese. I <3 cheese.


Soon enough it was time to eat! Look how beautiful the table was.


Instead of napkin holders, each of our plates was decorated with a special ornament that CC picked out for us. My ornament was in the shape of a camera (which was perfect since I played around with my camera a bit this weekend) and Fabio got an ornament shaped like golf clubs. Typical. (He and Steve played golf while we were hiking.)


CC also got us an ornament in the shape of Jack, which was so thoughtful. 🙂


I was too busy laughing, talking and eating during dinner to take pictures of my food, but I had a perfectly cooked steak, butternut squash lasagna, and a salad. Plus wine. 🙂

After dinner we all sat around drinking and being silly.




Mom or Ygritte?

Later in the night we pulled out Cards Against Humanity, which caused my mom to blush a lot and made me Google a couple of new-to-me words. There was a LOT of laughing during the game, and it was such a fun night with my family.


Sadly on Sunday morning we had to head home, but overall it was such a great weekend with my family, and I’m so thankful I got to spend this time with them. Thanks for having us, CC and Steve!


Question of the day: What does your family do when you get together?

Cards Against Humanity was a first for us, and it was so fun!

Pssst – planning for Thanksgiving later this week? Check out this site for TONS of delicious stuffing recipes, and watch this video showing that using blue plates and displaying food buffet-style can save lots of calories. 

 Posted by on November 23, 2015
Jul 062015

Fabio, Jack, and I spent our extended fourth of July weekend at my aunt CC and uncle Steve’s lake house in Otis, Massachusetts!


Their home is absolutely beautiful, and we all had such an amazing time.





Here’s my recap! Buckle up…it’s a long one!


Fabio and I decided to make the 6 hour drive to Otis after work on Wednesday since I had both Thursday and Friday off from work. Fabio prefers driving late at night when there’s no traffic, and I was on board with the plan since driving at night meant we’d have a lot more time at the lake house. During the drive we chatted, listened to podcasts, explored some new music, and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.


We stopped at a Starbucks in New York around midnight, which was quite weird. Who drinks coffee at midnight?


We arrived at CC and Steve’s house at around 1:45 am, which honestly wasn’t too bad. After saying a sleepy hello, it was time for bed!


Our Otis vacation kicked off with a delicious breakfast on the back deck. CC cooked up a tasty scramble made with eggs, chicken sausage, spinach, onions (I think) and avocado. On the side we had toasted English muffins with farm-fresh jam. Yum! This Thursday morning was already starting off way better than my typical Thursday. 😉


After breakfast CC and I hit the lake! It was a little cloudy out but still a beautiful day. We had fun catching some rays and chatting for a while, before we eventually headed back to the house.


After the lake we showered up and ventured out to the grocery store so we could pick up some supplies for dinner. We also added some delicious goat cheese and brie to our shopping cart, because cheese makes everything better.


While we munched on cheese and sipped wine, the boys played a few games of horseshoes. Fabio and Steve are super competitive, so they had fun playing every game imaginable during our stay (and I believe Steve won them all 😉 haha).


Meanwhile, I hung out on the deck with CC and helped get dinner ready.


On the menu: grilled salmon, chicken sausage, broccoli, and corn. Yum!


Steve’s mom was visiting on Thursday as well, and we had a fun time getting to know her during her stay.


Dinner was delicious, and I loved that we got to enjoy it out on the back deck. The weather in Otis gets a little chilly at night (it’s in the Berkshire mountains) so I felt incredibly cozy sitting outside in a sweatshirt and shorts with all the tiki lights and candles.

After dinner we set up the fire pit and made s’mores! Nothing says summer like a fire-toasted marshmallow. 🙂


We all wound up going to bed around 11:00 which was so nice. I was actually really excited to go to sleep!


On Friday morning, Steve and CC took us into Lenox, Massachusetts for breakfast. Lenox is such a cute town (it was established in 1750) and I’m so glad we were able to see it. We wound up going to Spoon, an adorable cafe right on the main street. We started off sharing one of their fresh blueberry muffins, which they cut in half and toasted for us. From now on I’m going to eat every muffin like this – it was incredible.


For my entree I got the corned beef hash with poached eggs. It was phenomenal, and I liked that they snuck some carrots into the hash. Hey, every veggie counts!


We also got an order of pancakes for the table, which were really delicious. All around excellent breakfast!

After we ate, the boys headed off to play golf while CC and I made our way back to the lake.


It was a perfect lake day with not a cloud in the sky! (Psst – legs or hot dogs?)



CC and I enjoyed floating around the lake on two awesome lounge-chair floaties she bought recently. It was so relaxing, and we had a great time soaking up the sun!



Later in the afternoon we headed back to the house, showered up, and played some badminton with the boys. I’m pretty terrible at this game, but it was fun anyway.


Then it was cocktail time (Steve made us delicious aperol fizzes all weekend) and time to get dinner started.


On Thursday night we had BBQ chicken, zucchini boats, corn, and side salads. I helped make the the zucchini boats. 😀


It was another fantastic meal!


After dinner we all indulged in a few more drinks, and had a fun night dancing around and playing lots of games. I think this picture of the two shot glasses and the empty fireball container explains the evening pretty well. 😉



The 4th of July was actually kind of rainy in Otis, which we didn’t mind too much since it had been so nice the day before. We wound up heading over to Farmington River Diner for breakfast, a cute diner right up the street. We had to wait a few minutes for a table, so we munched on more toasted muffins while we waited (are toasted muffins a thing in Massachusetts?). The muffins were delicious, and I loved that we got to enjoy them on rocking chairs on the porch outside while reading the local Otis newspaper.


Soon enough we were seated, and I enjoyed an omelet with home fries and toast. It hit the spot!


Then since it was cloudy out, CC and I hit up the farmer’s market for a bit. CC said it was much more crowded than usual, probably because of all the renters up for the holiday.


Then after driving around and exploring Otis a bit more, we came back home to relax on the couch (they have the world’s comfiest couch!). It wound up pouring rain for most of the afternoon, so we all cuddled up inside and watched the movie Interstellar. Steve made me a bloody mary to sip on during the movie and I was a happy camper.


The movie was pretty good, but required so much thinking! I’m actually still a little confused by it. :-/

Luckily it cleared up later in the afternoon so we were able to go on a hike! We took Jack with us, of course.


We wound up hiking to the Spectacle Pond, which was about 1.6 miles each way.


It was a beautiful walk, and it felt so good to get moving after being cooped up inside for most of the day.


I tried to get a picture of us hiking, but CC decided to hide from the camera. Ha!


Once we arrived at the “pond” (it seems more like a lake to me) I was blown away by how pretty it was. It was even more beautiful than I remembered.


Jack instantly jumped in the water, and he had a blast playing fetch with a giant stick.






Now that is one happy pup.


Later that evening we ordered Italian take out, and relaxed on the couch watching another movie (we watched the Imitation Game). Relaxing evenings like this are pretty rare for us, so this was such a nice treat!


Sadly we had to drive home on Sunday and we didn’t get back until 6:00 pm (thank you, July 4 weekend traffic). As soon as we arrived we got a lot done like meal planning, making the grocery list, unpacking, writing this post, etc. while watching the USA women’s soccer game. Yay, USA!

It was such a fun weekend, and I’m already looking forward to our next visit to Otis at the end of the month. Thanks again for having us, Steve and CC!

Question of the day: What is your favorite thing about summer?

 Posted by on July 6, 2015
Jul 022015

By the time you read this, Fabio, Jack, and I will be on our way to my Aunt CC’s and Uncle Steve’s lake/mountain house in Otis, Massachusetts.

We will be up there for the long holiday weekend, and you better believe I’m looking forward to the sunshine, lake swims, hikes, BBQ, s’mores,cocktails, games, and family time.

Bring on the fun!

I hope all my USA readers have a wonderful fourth of July weekend, and to all my international friends, well, happy Thursday! 🙂

Question of the day: How will you celebrate July 4?

 Posted by on July 2, 2015
Dec 022014

Hi folks! Today I’m back with another recap of my fun Thanksgiving weekend!

After watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person and then enjoying a tasty Thanksgiving meal with Fabio and his dad, Fabio, Jack and I hopped in the car first thing on Friday morning to make the trip up to my aunt CC’s new house in the Otis, Massachusetts, which is located in the Berkshire Mountains.

Remember when we went there over the summer and sat in the sun by the lake? Well, it looked a little different this time around.


Yep – they got about a foot of snow on Wednesday, which had melted just enough on Friday to make driving up safe (thank goodness) but it still left everything looking like a winter wonderland.


It took us about 2.5 hours to drive up from Fabio’s dad’s house in Queens, and when we arrived Jack took full advantage of all the snow.


He immediately found the-biggest-stick-ever and proceeded to hop around in the snow with it in his mouth, looking more like a bunny than a dog.


He loved that thing.


After watching Jack play for a while, we headed inside to warm up. My aunt’s house was so picturesque and cozy – I just loved seeing all the snow outside and being nice and warm inside.


We then spent the afternoon snacking on delicious appetizers, and sipping on warm apple cider spiked with rum. Yummy!!


These prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with cheese were a favorite of mine.


Then we played a few games, including darts. I would like to point out that I am absolutely horrible at darts, and didn’t score a single point during our game, but I did hit the green part around the bull’s eye on my practice round. At least I know I can do it!


Meanwhile, my aunt CC was busy preparing our Thanksgiving feast! She and my uncle Steve wound up deep frying the turkey, which came out so delicious!


So good!


Then it was time to eat!


My plate had a little bit of everything: stuffing, creamed kale, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and turkey. Everything tasted great!


For dessert we had my turkey cupcakes, which looked better than they tasted. I think using a healthier recipe and baking them so many days in advance (I made them last Sunday) probably took a toll on them. Oh well, at least they looked cute.


We spent the rest of the evening playing Cards Against Humanity and Clue, and once CC and I accidentally fell asleep on the world’s comfiest couch at about midnight, Fabio and Steve continued with games of ping pong and pool. Such a fun day!



Saturday morning was nice and relaxing, and upon waking up, I moved upstairs to the comfy couch where I was greeted with this view.


Isn’t that just the coziest thing?

Saturday was pretty similar to Friday and involved lots of snow time for Jack…



more games…

IMG_7874…and lots of yummy food!

CC made homemade butternut squash lasagna with homemade lasagna noodles!


There definitely was no shortage of good food this weekend, that’s for sure. On Saturday evening CC and Steve had a couple friends over, and it was really nice meeting them!




For dessert on Saturday we had this salted caramel apple pie, which I had baked in advance (though I decided to forgo the lattice top since that seemed like way too much work).


The result: it was SOOOO good! I will definitely be making this pie again. That salted caramel sauce is ridiculous! I give this pie two thumbs up!


We wound up driving home from Massachusetts on Saturday night to avoid the crazy Sunday post-Thanksgiving traffic, and although we didn’t get home until 6:00 am (UGH!!) it was worth it to have a quick trip and a full Sunday at home.


Since we got home so late (early?) Fabio and I both slept until almost noon on Sunday. As soon as I finally woke up, I laced up my sneakers and took Jack on a super speedy three mile run. Check out those splits!


The 7:56 mile was actually on the huge hill that always slows me down, so I was really psyched. I would have gone even faster on the second mile, but we were running through downtown Georgetown which was pretty packed at that time of the day, and it was pretty difficult to navigate with Jack through all the people. Still, I was so happy with my pace!!

The rest of the day was spent unpacking/recovering from the weekend, and getting some Christmas decorations up.


Of course, I should have been meal planning and doing laundry, but – hey – it’s all about priorities over here.

Question of the day: Have you decorated for Christmas yet? Has it snowed where you are yet?

 Posted by on December 2, 2014
Jul 282014

One of the highlights from my weekend in the Berkshires was a hike through the beautiful Otis State Forest.


On Saturday morning, Fabio, Steve, Jack, and I headed to the trails right behind Steve & CC’s new house for a hike. The park is literally in their back yard, which is so convenient. It’s so nice to be able to walk out the back door, and immediately be in the state park!

We kept Jack off the leash for the majority of the hike since there weren’t too many other people around. What a luxury! I wish we could do this more where we live, but sadly the parks near us are usually pretty crowded and strict on the leash laws. Jack did a great job of staying with us  ahead of us and listening when we told him to come. 😀


Eventually we got to the reservoir where we were able to take in the beautiful sights while Jack went for a swim 🙂


Obviously Jack had a blast playing in the water, and he wound up playing with a giant 7-foot stick that weighed about 15 pounds. We tried tossing smaller sticks in the water for him, but he wasn’t having it. Only the biggest sticks will suffice for this dog.





We let Jack swim around for quite a while before eventually calling him back to shore. He had a blast!


After that we made our way back up the trail to CC’s house.


We wound up covering about 3 miles overall, which was just perfect! (I think any longer and the mosquitoes would have eaten us alive, not that they didn’t try.)


One kind of crappy thing did happen because of this hike though; on Sunday morning we noticed Jack wasn’t being his normal self and his tail was hardly wagging at all. In fact, it was sort of laying limp between his legs which was really weird. There was a thunderstorm going on at the time so I thought maybe he was just scared, but his limp tail persisted throughout the morning.

By early afternoon I was really worried and started looking around online, where I read this article about limber tail syndrome. Basically it’s a tail injury that happens to many dogs – but especially Labradors – after overexertion from activities like “over-long off-leash hikes or a swim in cold water.” Yes, the article literally said that. At least after reading this I knew what was bothering him, but it still made me really sad to see my usually super-happy pup unable to wag his tail. Poor little guy!!

Luckily the injury only lasts a couple of days, and already today he is almost back to normal. I guess in the future when he wants to keep swimming with really heavy sticks we will have to pull him away sooner. Clearly he had a little too much fun!

Question of the day: Has your pet (or child) ever suffered from an injury that had you worried like a crazy person?

I was literally driving Fabio up a wall on our entire 7-hour car ride home while I thought of all the things that could be wrong with him. Thank goodness it was nothing more serious!


 Posted by on July 28, 2014
Aug 182017

At 3:06 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16, my adorable nephew Michael Leon was born!

Side note: Look at all that hair!!

He weighed a whopping 9.6 pounds, which is crazy considering Fabio’s sister Diane is so tiny.

Mom, dad, and baby are all doing well, and I’m hoping I’ll get to meet this little cutie over the weekend!

Congratulations, Diane and Alex!

(Some photos “with Michael” from the wedding :). )

I’m going to keep the rest of this week’s highlights short since I spent my Thursday night at Sibarita eating delicious Bolivian food with Fabio’s cousin Ligia and her boyfriend Sean instead of taking time to really sit down and blog.

It was a fun night with a much-needed margarita after a tough week at work. Cheers!

Some other quick highlights from the week: We had an amazing salad for dinner on Monday night complete with grilled nectarines, sweet corn, goat cheese, chicken sausage, mixed greens, and arugula.

I am loving summer produce right now!

We also had some chicken burgers with a side salad, which also came out delicious. Yum!

And after visiting Aunt CC and Uncle Steve in Otis last weekend, I enjoyed some of the homemade lemon biscotti they sent me home with in my coffee! It wasn’t an every day treat this week, but it was an almost every day one. 🙂

And I will leave you with this fun sign that I saw in the entrance of Next Phase Studio where I completed a fun bootcamp workout this week:

“Can we be your happy place?” Why yes, yes you can! 🙂

The end. Happy Friday!

Question of the day: For those of you with nieces and nephews, tell me how old they are!

 Posted by on August 18, 2017
Aug 102017

Hey friends! I’m dropping by today with six random things that are on my mind. 🙂

1. We are heading out of town again this weekend, this time for another fun weekend getaway up at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s place in Otis, MA. It’s a long, 6.5 hour drive, but it’s always so fun once we get up there. We have a couple of friends joining us this time, so I wanted to bring a couple of treats up with us so CC and Steve don’t spend the whole weekend slaving away over food. I wound up making this Mediterranean Farro Salad and this Lemon Blueberry Bread. The lemon blueberry bread in particular looks amazing, and I can’t wait to dig into it! Woohooo!! Otis weekends are the best.

2. Our wedding pictures are ready!!!!! Eeek!! I got the email from our photographer in the middle of the work day, and it was all I could do not to tear through them right away. Luckily I waited until I got home so Fabio and I could enjoy going through them together. They came out so beautifully and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them all! I’m thinking I’ll wait until Shutterfly or one of those sites has a sale, and then I’ll make some albums for family and order a few prints. Any recommendations? Here’s one sneak peek for you guys…

3. And now that our wedding pictures are ready, I can get working on the wedding blog recaps! I still have one last honeymoon post to write, and then I’ll dive into all things wedding. It was such a fun, magical weekend, and I want to make sure I capture it all perfectly! It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to share it with you all.

4. Speaking of blog posts, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time to sit down and write here on CET. Work and life have both been really busy, and I’ve always wanted writing in this space to be something I look forward to doing, or get to do, and I don’t ever want it to feel like an obligation. Some days I think, “Oh man, I have to get a blog post up today,” and then I think, “Wait, I don’t have to do anything.” I’m not planning on changing my posting schedule drastically or anything like that, but I wanted to let you guys know how I was feeling and just give you a heads up that some days there might be a post, and some days there might not. That’s just sort of how life is working out for me right now.

5. We didn’t make it to the grocery store last weekend, so our dinners have sort of been all over the place. We used up a lot of random produce we had in the fridge from last week, and I’ve made a bunch of weird thrown-together meals that actually came out pretty tasty. Last night, for example, I made us a pasta dish with leftover roasted carrots, corn salad, and Peruvian chicken, and somehow it all tasted great together once I mixed up a random dressing to tie it all together. Hey, whatever works!

6. Workouts have been pretty good so far this week, with a short run on Monday, a spin class at FlyWheel on Tuesday, a sculpt class at CorePower yoga on Wednesday, and a bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club planned for tomorrow (it’s Wednesday as I write this). Plus I’m sure I’ll probably get in some fun activities this weekend in Otis as well!

Aaaaand there you have it – six random thoughts in my head this morning. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Question of the day: What’s your dinner go-to when you haven’t been to the grocery store?

 Posted by on August 10, 2017
Jul 172017

Hello there, and happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend filled with lots of fun – I know we sure did!


Our good friend from college (and Fabio’s groomsman) Jason just moved to D.C. from New York City, and we could NOT be more excited to have him in our city. He’s only been in town for a week, so after work on Friday we headed over to check out his new digs. His apartment is located right in the heart of Dupont, and it’s massive! What a great place!

We spent some time drinking beers and catching up with Jason before we all got hungry and decided to walk over to Mission for dinner. I’d only ever been there once for happy hour, but I remembered the atmosphere was a lot of fun and the food was delicious. I wound up getting three tacos: one salmon, one shrimp, and one fried plantain. They were all delicious, but the shrimp one was especially tasty. A little on the spicy side too!

When dinner was done we sat around catching up for a little while longer before Fabio and I headed back home. We are so happy to have one of our best friends living close by!


On Saturday morning, I drove into Southeast D.C. for a yoga date with my friend Jojo! Jojo and I both went to college together, but we didn’t become good friends until we worked together after graduation. It’s been years since we’ve worked at the same job, but I love that we still get together all the time! In fact, I have a happy hour this week with Jojo and a couple of the other gals we used to work with, and I can’t wait to see them! But anyway, back to Saturday.

Jojo and her boyfriend Jadd just bought a row home in Southeast, so I had to check it out! Jojo and Jadd have a sweet pup named Tilly, and I brought Jack with me so they could have a play date with Jadd while we ladies went to yoga. Jadd said they had a blast together, like always. 🙂

Then it was time to walk over to yoga, which was an outdoor class with Be Here Now Yoga at Lincoln Park!

We both signed up for the class via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $40 off) but it was also donation-based, so you could drop into the class and pay the instructor however much you wanted. The class wasn’t our favorite – it was a little slow-going and had lots of stretching and calming breathing – but it was nice and relaxing! Plus being outside on such a pretty summer morning was glorious.

After yoga, Jojo and I walked over to Mia’s Coffehouse for some breakfast! We both got iced coffee and beef barbacoa bowls, and everything was delicious. We both got full after eating less than half of our bowls though, so we took the rest home for our respective boys. (They were both quite happy about this, naturally.)

It was such a nice morning catching up with a good friend!

After saying goodbye to Jojo and Jadd, I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry and straightening up around the house (plus sneaking in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy) while Fabio was out golfing with Jason. Once they were done, Fabio and I got cleaned up and drove to Rockville for our third housewarming event of the weekend: a dinner at my stepsister Maggie’s and her boyfriend Nick’s new apartment!

Their place was also super cute, and they welcomed us with margaritas. I’m pretty sure all the best dinner parties start with margs. 🙂

While we sipped our drinks, we munched on chips and homemade guacamole and watched the Yankee/Red Sox game.

In case you’re wondering, Fabio was only half listening to any of our conversations and he almost spilled my drink a few times when the Yankees scored and he jumped up in the air. Insert eye-roll emoji.

Anyway, eventually it was time to eat and we enjoyed a delicious beef taco bar!

Tacos for the win! I wound up having one soft flour taco, one soft corn taco, and one hard-shell taco. De-lish.

For dessert, we had mango and prickly pear sorbet with fresh strawberries. Hello, summer!

After dinner we walked around Maggie and Nick’s neighborhood a bit, and even stopped for drinks at a bar near them. It was a really fun night, and we didn’t get home until after midnight. We were pooped!


On Sunday morning, we decided to drive over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house (it still sounds super weird to say that, BTW). Diane is expecting her baby any day now, and unfortunately last weekend Alex had to have surgery on his foot due to an older injury that was getting worse and worse. The poor things definitely needed our help – Diane can’t bend over at all and Alex was hobbling around on my old peg-leg (my dad was nice enough to bring it by for them earlier on). They were in rough shape!

To help them out, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up some essentials and then spent a while helping them get the nursery ready. That baby is going to be here before we know it!

Hey, no photo-bombing peg-legs allowed! 🙂

That’s better. 🙂

And now it’s Sunday night as I am typing this up, and we are looking forward to watching the new season of Game of Thrones in a little bit! Except it’s been so long since last season that I sort of forget what was happening…I guess it’s time to go watch some of last season’s episodes to remind myself. 🙂

I hope you all have a lovely Monday!

Question(s) of the day: Do you watch Game of Thrones? What’s your favorite kind of taco?

Fish tacos – either fried or fresh – with cole slaw are my absolute favorite!!

 Posted by on July 17, 2017